Keynote Speakers

  • Elizabeth Grierson


    Professor Elizabeth Grierson is Professor of Art and Philosophy at RMIT University, where she is a research leader of RMIT Design Research Institute, and from 2005-2012 Head of the School of Art at RMIT University Melbourne. Her PhD in Philosophy of Education and MA (1st Class Hons) in Art History, and BA majoring in English language and literature are from University of Auckland NZ, and her fine art training was also in Auckland with twenty years or more of exhibiting in New Zealand galleries. Elizabeth has a long career in university education, has worked in universities in Australia and New Zealand, was a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Brighton in UK in 1997-98, and has undertaken many international assignments and research projects.

    Elizabeth has led many projects in the education and art fields. She is known internationally for her speaking and publications focusing on trans-disciplinary research in art and design, creativity and health, law and education, art education, aesthetics and philosophy of education. Over the past 3 years she has been working on a trans-disciplinary research project on art and medicine supported by Australia Research Council funding. The project, Designing Sound for Health and Wellbeing was undertaken by researchers from the School of Art at RMIT University with medical researchers from St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne. Elizabeth was also a leading member of a research team who won the Design Research Institute 2010, Design Against Crime Challenge, with the project TRUST: Interventions through Art.

    Elizabeth is frequently called upon to act as an academic referee, and judge of awards. She serves on several editorial boards, and is executive editor of the scholarly journal ACCESS: Critical Perspectives on Communication, Cultural & Policy Studies. She is the author of many books, book chapters, journal articles, and catalogue essays.

    In 2012 Elizabeth is working on a special project for the Vice Chancellor of RMIT University, the research and writing of a 2nd edition of the book, A Skilled Hand and Cultivated Mind. A Guide to the Architecture and Art of RMIT University, 2nd edition (RMIT Press). The 1st edition was published in 2008. She is also continuing studies in law with a Juris Doctor at RMIT University with a particular interest in issues of art law, internet and copyright, and legal systems in education.



    Shelley Sacks

    Shelley Sacks is social sculpture practitioner working with others to shape humane and viable ways of being in the world. Her writings, actions and projects explore dialogue processes, creative agency and the relationship of imagination to transformation, working across sectors and disciplines to facilitate creative exchanges that empower people and lead to new understandings of citizenship and forms of transformation.

    From 1970 to 1990, Shelley Sacks worked in South Africa, Germany and the UK, exploring new forms of creative practice and their relationship to the evolution of an ecologically just and democratic society. Her work includes more than forty live actions, site works, and installations; involvement in grass roots cultural and political organisations; facilitating cooperatives in the 1970’s and 1980’s in South Africa; and collaborating with Joseph Beuys for more than a decade in the Free International University.

    Now in the UK as Professor of Social Sculpture at Oxford Brookes University, Shelley coordinates the Social Sculpture Research Unit and the Masters Programme in Social Sculpture and Interdisciplinary Arts. Her acclaimed social sculpture, eco-citizenship projects such as Exchange Values with banana growers and consumers []University of the Trees and Earth Forum are examples of a transdisciplinary, expanded practice that explores the relationship of imaginal thought and ‘new organs of perception’ to the shaping of an ecological and democratic society. She is currently working on a co-authored book on Aesthetic Education for Sustainability.



    Kristina Andersen

    Kristina Andersen is a researcher and storyteller based in Amsterdam. She is primarily concerned with how we can allow each other to practice at the future through the making of new exploratory objects. To do this she works with electronics and reclaimed materials to create unusual objects and workshop experiences. She holds a Cand. Arch. [wearable computers], a M.Sc [tangible objects in virtual spaces], and was a research fellow at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea [IT]. She is a Founding Research Fellow of the Research Institute in the Converging Arts & Sciences (ICAS) at the University of Greenwich [UK]. She has been a mentor at DasArts, a thematic project leader at the Piet Zwart Institute/ MA in Media Design, an honorary visiting design fellow at the University of York [UK] and she has designed and hosted countless workshops. She is mentor and senior researcher at the Patchingzone and teaches the combined MA between STEIM and Sonology in Den Haag [NL] as well as maintaining her own practice.


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